The Piano is a movie about a mute woman who is sent off to New Zealand in the 1850’s from her native Scotland in an arranged marriage. All she has with her is her daughter and her piano which she uses to help deal with the trials of life and sometimes to communicate as she cannot speak. When she arrives in New Zealand her new marriage is not going well and her new husband soon sells her beloved piano to the next door neighbor. The neighbor agrees to allow her to play her piano but she has to agree to give him lessons and extend to him other favors as well. At first she is repulsed by the whole situation but over time her and the neighbor soon begin to realize that they are developing feelings for each other. As the situation advances it becomes more and more complicated and soon it appears that the entire situation is destined to get completely out of hand. The emotion in the movie is strong and the writing, as well as the acting, help to paint a vivid picture that the images add to. At times it is difficult to accept what is happening but the climax of the movie is done very well and worth the price of admission alone.
The Piano stars such Hollywood favorites as Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin. It was Paquin’s second motion picture and it helped propel her career as she won an Oscar for her performance. The movie received many levels of critical praise and also wound up winning 11 awards at the Australian equivalent of the Academy Awards. The Piano was even nominated for a Japanese Academy Award as best foreign film. Truly a film that reaches that many people deserves all of the praise and success that it receives.